Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author best known for writing children's stories including "The Little Mermaid" and "The Ugly Duckling." But he didn't just write short stories, and his intended audience wasn't restricted to children. In addition to his fairy tales, Andersen wrote poems, plays, novels, travel books, essays, and more. He hungered for recognition at home (Denmark) and abroad-and he got it Eventually. Today, his stories can be read in over one hundred languages. But no matter what language they're in, Andersen's tales have got something for everyone. In them, you'll find beauty, tragedy, nature, religion, artfulness, deception, betrayal, love, death, judgment, penance, and-occasionally-a happy ending. They're complex tales, but since Andersen himself was pretty complex, we like to think that art imitates life. Or something like that. "The Ugly Duckling" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The story tells of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from the others around him until, much to his delight (and to the surprise of others), he matures into a beautiful swan, the most beautiful bird of all. The story is beloved around the world as a tale about personal transformation for the better. Includes vintage illustration.